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Election Night In America Continued; GOP Sources: McCarthy Is "Going To Have To Fight" To Be Speaker; Trump Unleashes Social Media Tirade Targeting DeSantis. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired November 10, 2022 - 19:00   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: These are live pictures of vote counting right now in Nevada, where we expect to get a new announcement of results tonight. Election officials were working overtime right now to process hundreds of thousands of ballots, that could be critical and determining control of the United States Senate.

Control of the House of Representatives also remains in limbo desire. The final outcome of the midterm election still undecided two days later.

We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer, with CNN's special coverage of "Election Night in America Continued".

All eyes right now are on Nevada and Arizona, where the U.S. Senate contests remains undecided desire. Republicans hoping to oust two Democratic incumbents. The Democrats fighting back, and they're fighting back hurt. Every vote in those key contests will help determine the final balance of power in the Senate.

Right now, Democrats hold 48 seats, Republicans have 49, two short of the 51 seats they need to retake Senate control.

Turning to the state of play in the House of Representatives right now, Democrats have won 192 House seats. So far, Republicans have 209. That's nine seats short of 218 needed to reclaim the majority. Thirty- four House seats still haven't been decided.

To White House Control, Republicans must win seven seats in competitive contests that are playing out right now. They are in a strong position to reach that goal, as they are currently leading in 11 races.

Democrats meanwhile have a higher hurdle. They must win 21 competitive seats to hold on to the house. They are currently leading in 16 races.

We're keeping a close watch on ballot processing at key locations, as we stand by for a new vote counts on these key races, and that includes the high stakes Arizona governor's race, where Democrat Katie Hobbs, is narrowly leading Republican Kari Lake, a die hard pro Trump election denier.

Let's go to our correspondents right now in the key battleground and here in Washington, covering this truly historic midterm election.

First, let's go to Kyung Lah.

Kyung, give us an update on the vote counting their, and when we can expect some new numbers, some new results.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we are expecting some new numbers in just a few hours, Wolf. The news conference from the board of supervisors as well as Maricopa County recorder Stephen Richer, basically laid out what things would look like in the next few days.

Tonight, they anticipated that they would be releasing a few more. It's an approximate, right? This is -- this is -- they are going to release as many as they can, but approximately, 60,000 ballots tonight, data from 60,000 ballots plus.

So, last night, it was 62,000. They anticipate it would be more tonight.

Those ballots are from Friday night, Saturday and Monday. The so- called late early, mail-in ballots that may have been filled out but then were received before Election Day. So, not the ones that were drop off on Election Day, but ones that were received before Election Day.

I will leave it to the partisans to decide who that will favor, but that is what we have been told by the board of supervisors and the county recorder.

They also addressed exactly how many they could release in the days to come. It is going to be about the. Do the math yourself, this may take several days before they get the of the so-called late earlies, those ballots, whether they were before or on election day, because there are about 290,000 that were dropped off.

So, that's what they had to go to. That's the target. It is a slow process. But it is slow, Wolf, because they're trying to do it accurately -- Wolf.

BLITZER: It is so, so important. As soon as we get those numbers, we'll, of course, share those numbers with our viewers. Kyung Lah, reporting from Phoenix, Arizona.

Let's go to Las Vegas right now, in Nevada, another crucial battleground state.

Gary Tuchman is on the scene for us.

So, what's the status of the ballot counting going on, Gary, right now?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, I can tell you that all 17 counties in the state are counting ballots as we speak. It's not unexpected, even if these key races were not close in the state, that was the plan all along. [19:05:00]

Because of a Nevada law. If you sent out your mail-in ballot by Tuesday election day, it can arrive at the county election centers by Saturday. So they were always going to be counting until Saturday.

We're in the Clark County election building. This is the largest county in the state, the most populated county in the state, it's also the most Democratic county in the state, so it's interesting and important vantage point.

We were inside the building a short time ago to watch the tabulation. We're not allowed to take a live video because of security reasons. We're also not permitted to show the faces of the workers, a sad sign of the times, I suppose.

But we're watching them tabulate, and here's what we know. There are at least 50,000 votes to be counted. They are all mail-in ballots that came from the postal service or from the drop boxes on election day, more than 300 drop boxes in this county. In addition to those 50,000, there's 5,500 provisional ballots that still need to be counted, 7,100 ballots that need to be cured.

That means people sometimes don't sign a ballot. If they sign them, they're cured and they can be counted. So, there's the possibility of up to 62,000 ballots that will still be counted here in this county.

We can tell you, mail-in used to be, you know, if you could not show up, maybe you send in your mail. Now it's the major way of voting in Clark County. And in the state, there's 1.8 million active registered voters. Each of them received a mail-in ballot, so a large number of people have been mailing in ballots.

And yes, we do expect a major update in the totals within the next couple of hours -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Once, again as soon as we get the numbers, we'll share them with our viewers.

Gary Tuchman, thanks very much.

I'm here with John King at the magic wall. You and I have spent a lot of time at this wall over the years, including two years ago. Let's talk about the Senate right now, what's the plan?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Night three, election week in America, Gary and Kyung just leading out the new world we live, with so many mail-in ballots, especially the counts take longer, especially in states that have methodical way of doing it, both of those western states do.

Where are we right now? This is why this is so important. We know, Wolf, that the Georgia Senate races going to a runoff. It's 50/50 when we woke up on election day.

Right now, it's 49-48, right? So, the Republicans are leading there. That will give Republicans the 50, if they stay, right? Let's bring it up, let's bring it up and get their. There we go, a little slow today.

Adam Laxalt is the Republican, he's ahead, 49.4 to 47.6. A remarkably close race in Nevada. This is what a significant, Gary, in Clark County, where the Democratic incumbent, Catherine Cortez Masto, is ahead in the county, narrowly ahead, five, six points there. But this is what's important, it's 74 percent of the population. That's where most of the outstanding ballots are.

So, if Senator Masto is running a good lead there, running up -- in the continued ballots, she can catch up. Another significant since late last night, is that Washoe County, up here in the corner of the state, Reno, the rural areas above it, this is a swing county. Fifteen, a little more than 15 percent of the population. We'll see what percentage of the vote that translates into.

Senator Masto was trailing in the swing county. She's now ahead. But, look, I say ahead, 48.8 to 48.6. That is the race we have in Nevada, incredibly close, why does those ballots are so important.

Also important in the governor's race. The Republicans there have a bigger lead but critically important.

And Kyung Lah watching a similar process play out in Arizona. Again, last night, Mark Kelly's lead was about 87, 000. It has grown to 98,255. So, Senator Kelly stretches his lead a bit, that's what you want, but you still have hundreds of thousands of votes outstanding there, Wolf. So, plenty of time to make it up. We're at 76 percent of the estimated vote.

I just want to come out quickly this switch maps to understand the stakes here. You have to western Senate states uncounted, right? So, let's see where we are right now. Right now, we know that this is in December. This is where we stand.

Let's just go with the state of play at the moment, right? Senator Kelly is leading there, then Republican challenger, Adam Laxalt is leading here.

If everything state as it is, is zero guarantee of that with all these votes to count, but if everything stay as it is, 50 Republicans, 49 to Democrats, then that would control -- yet again, a Georgia runoff would determine control of the United States Senate, which is why the counts in both states are possible, because it is possible. If a Democrat comes back here, the Democrats already have a majority because of the vice president. Democrats only need 50, and that would be fight it out.

But the flip side of that math is, if Republicans win the vote or out west, Republicans have the majority.

So, these counts are critical. As we go forward, I want to go back to the map, this is where we are, at the scenario could play out in these two states or if they're split, then Georgia decides it all on December. BLITZER: Good point. Arizona, critical, critical, critical right now.

I want to bring in the Arizona assistant secretary of state, Allie Bones.

Madam Secretary, thanks very much for joining us once again.

How many -- first of all, how many outstanding votes are there in Arizona tonight, and what counties are you waiting on?

ALLIE BONES, ARIZONA ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, good evening. So, in Arizona, we're looking at a little over 600,000 ballots still outstanding that add to be verified and process. And we have heard from a few counties today.


One of our counties, one of the smallest counties in Arizona, Greenlee County, is completely finished with processing. So, one down, 14 to go.

We have heard from three small counties this evening, and we're anticipating getting reports from the remaining counties tonight, including, of course, the two big ones, Maricopa and Pima County.

KING: And so, Madam Secretary, we just saw our correspondent in Nevada, they had a rough number of 120,000, but they're not quite sure because they can still have mail-in ballots coming in. Are you certain of the universe left account, or do you have military or overseas ballots, a more modest number -- a certain of the big universe or do you have a question mark?

BONES: No, we are certain at the number. Arizona ballots do have to be received by 7:00 p.m. on election night. So any ballots that might be received because somebody not heed our advice and meld them behind the deadline, then, yeah, they cannot be accepted at this point.

BLITZER: Madam Secretary, the gubernatorial candidate over there, Kari Lake, continues to raise doubts about the election results. This is what she is now saying. She is saying election officials are intentionally, her word, delaying the results. I want to get your response to that charge.

BONES: That is absolutely not happening. Our election officials are operating at the highest level of ethical standards and following the law in the election procedures the way that they should be. All of our ballots that come in on election day after that had to be processed, those mail-in ballots, have to go a rigorous process that adds to our integrity of our elections.

And so, it's ironic to us that people who are calling into question the integrity of this election and want faster results don't understand that it's actually those processes that add the integrity to our election process.

BLITZER: Allie Bones, the Arizona assistant secretary of state, will stay in touch with you. Thank you very, very much.

We're also standing by for new votes by closely watched Pima County in Arizona. They're coming in, we are told, very soon. But that could mean for close races there and control of the House and the Senate. We'll be right back.



BLITZER: With control of the House still up in the air right now, let's take a closer look at some of the tightest congressional races right now.

Starting off in Colorado, the controversial Republican congresswoman and ardent Trump supporter, Lauren Boebert, is facing a tough challenge from Democrat Adam Frisch.

Let's take a closer look right now. Lauren Boebert, she's slightly had a 50.2 percent to 48.8 percent, 98 percent of the estimated vote is in. She's got a lead of about 1,200 votes, at least right now. It's close over there.

Let's check out another squeaker in California, where Republican John Duarte and Democrat Adam Gray are vying in the newly redrawn 13th district. You can see what is going on. Forty percent -- only 40 percent of the estimated vote is in. Duarte is ahead by 203 votes, 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent, a very close in that House contest right now.

Also in California, Republican Ken Calvert is neck and neck right now with Democratic challenger, Will Rollins. Will Rollins with 49.8 percent, Ken Calvert, the Republican, with 50.2 percent, 41 percent, less than half -- only 41 percent of the estimated vote is in. Calvert is ahead by only 453 votes.

Quite a few close races in the Golden State, as you can see. Democratic incumbent Katie Porter trying to beat back a challenge from Republican Scott Baugh. Take a look at this. Katie Porter 50.5 percent, Scott Baugh, 49.5 percent, 59 percent of the estimated vote, is now in. She's ahead right now by 1,552 votes.

Let's take a look at the balance of power, where things stand right now in the battle for control of the House of Representatives. Remember, you need 218 for the majority in the House. Republicans right now have 209. They picked up 16 seats so far. Democrats have 192, they picked up four seats so far, 34 seats remain outstanding at this point right now.

So here is the state of play in the house of representatives, where things stand. Democrats must win right now, 21 competitive seats, in order to maintain the majority. Republicans must win seven, seven competitive seats in order to gain a majority in the House of Representatives.

Let's go over to John King at the magic wall. These races in the House of Representatives, they're very tight. It could be decided by a few hundred votes.

KING: In a word, wow. On day three of election week in America, this is not the map that Republicans anticipated. Let's be honest, it's not a map that many Democrats anticipated either heading into election night. It's a remarkably competitive -- it's a distant possibility, but mathematically, Democrats still have a chance to hold her house majority.

But right now, the Republicans, as you mentioned, have 209 seats. That leaves the non-short. Let's look at where they are leading right now. They're leading enough forces to win a narrow House majority. That doesn't mean that's done. But they are leading right now, as we continue to count votes in 222 races.

But, look, Democrats are leading in 213 house races. So this on the third night of our count is in play. Let's go back here, so people don't get confused, 209, when you look at this coast to coast. We have not called the races in Maine, and Alaska, imagine if it comes to that. The state sees rank choice voting.

Look at this before, let's look at the race in Maine, this is Jared Golden, a Democrat running in a district that Donald Trump carried by six points. So, it's tough territory for a Democrat. Jared Golden is up by 49 percent. He needs to get the 50 to win the race outright, otherwise they do branches voting. They take Tiffany Bond's ballots for the second choice. Most people think Jared Golden will win, but you could take some time to finish their count.

Let's just come back to the national map. You look at the map, you see a lot of red in the middle of the country, but Democrats, Republicans talk coming into election night, they would pick up a few seats in New England. That's all blue. Golden's race is the one undecided. Look at all that blue.

If there is a benefit for Republicans, it's here. When Democrats do their autopsy and say where should we have worked harder, where should we have gotten more money, where should we have gotten ahead of this, it be in the state of New York.


Republicans picking up several seats here, including the seat of Sean Patrick Maloney, the chairman of the Democratic Campaign Committee. This is a sore spot for Democrats in a traditionally blue state. Republican candidate for governor lost, but in running a competitive race, he helped several of these Republican House candidates.

And Republicans, if they do get a narrow majority, several of the building blocks will come right here, surprising in some ways, for a blue state like New York. Republicans are disappointed, Wolf, when you look out in the Midwest. Republicans got in the middle of America with inflation, with blue and red states, look at the blue in Michigan, The Republicans thought that at least one or two of the districts would be red, it didn't happen.

Democrats fighting to stupid issue to stay into play here. You mention a couple of these uncalled races would national significance. This take a look out here at Colorado's their district. Last night, she was telling by shy of 100 votes, then she got closer, now, 1,229 votes ahead. She has built a lead a bit but there are still votes to count.

She is saying today that she is confident that she will win. She is saying today that the Democratic governor, she thinks there's a check there, but a key Trump accolade there to watch. There are several big races out on the west coast to.

Again, when you look at those numbers right now, Democrats resisting valiantly the national headwinds, the probability is a narrow House Republican majority, but a ways to go.

BLITZER: There's no doubt about it.

Still ahead, a lot of second-guessing going on among Republicans about why the election did not match their very lofty expectations. What that could mean for Kevin McCarthy's years-long request for a speakers gavel? That's next.

Stay with us.



BLITZER: Control of Congress, clearly, hangs in the balance tonight, with all eyes right now in Arizona where we are expecting new vote numbers to be released, very soon.

Let's bring in Dana Bash, for more, on what's going on. Dana, you are watching this so, so closely.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I want to take it back to Washington, into the building behind me. What's going to happen, assuming, that Republicans take over with the speaker's race.

Jamie, you have some new reporting on the fight that Kevin McCarthy is fighting.

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: So, the election isn't over yet, and Kevin McCarthy is already fighting for his dream job, in his own caucus.

So, here is what we have heard today. Some Republicans want to say, he is in peril. Some say jeopardy. Some say vulnerable. A couple said to me, odds are, he's not going to be speaker of the House. We will wait, and see.

But, there is one thing that every Republican source I spoke to said today. He does not have 218 votes. He is in a huge fight, and it's not going to be easy.

We all know the Freedom Caucus. They have already come out, and many members have said, they will not commit to voting for him. Then, there are the moderate Republicans, who are worried that

McCarthy will make so many concessions to the Freedom Caucus that they will not like what he is doing.

And then, finally, there is the Donald Trump factor. We have known that Donald Trump is angry at Kevin McCarthy for a long, long time. There are Republicans who think that he may get into this, and be a spoiler, and knowing to someone else.

BASH: OK. We're going to pick up on that in a second. First, I want to go to Manu Raju, who has some reporting as well -- Manu.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, behind the scenes, Kevin McCarthy, not yet making commitments that the House Freedom Caucus members are making, or demanding. Among things that the House Freedom Caucus is the hard right faction, asking McCarthy to give them more power to oust a sitting speaker, assuming, they do not like something that he does.

That is something that McCarthy is resisting. Instead, his pitch, is this. He said, he brought this party back to the majority after two election cycles. Even though it may not be as big as they want, they are back in the majority, this appears that way, and at the moment, we have not called that.

He is also taking steps to argue to his colleagues, he will not be a top down speaker, the way speakers of the past have been. So, just today, for instance, putting some allies in positions to be in charge of, so-called, working groups, to come up legislative agendas, to come up with an investigative judge and a, as well, all of which he believes will help show what kind of speaker that he would be.

But the reason why it is significant is because next week will be the first step in the process. There will be a vote to nominate the house speaker. At that point, a majority of House Republicans would need to vote for him to be their nominee for speaker. You would have the votes for that.

The bigger question is come January. That's when he needs 218 votes on the House floor. If there is a narrow house majority, 220 seats, 225 seats or, so, just a handful of Republicans defecting could complicate that bid. That is why these initial discussions that are happening, behind the scenes, are significant.

In talking to members of the freedom caucus, they do not rule out voting for McCarthy, but they certainly want him to listen to their demands, listen their concerns. McCarthy called one member today, Ralph Norman, who told us, after the phone call, he did not commit to speaking to supporting McCarthy, but said that McCarthy was open to meeting with them. Expect those meetings to happen as they move forward on this effort to get the votes.


BASH: Manu, thank you so much. I was just talking to a source close to Kevin McCarthy who says that

he is working the phones. He has not gotten off the phone today, trying to preempt a real spectacle, a real problem that he could have, once, assuming, we should all say, one more time. Republicans do not have the seats yet, but the Republican leader, and others, are assuming that once all seats are called, the races are called, he will.

KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yeah, no, it's an important caveat. I mean, look, Kevin McCarthy is not stupid. He knows he has a problem. We saw the video of him live in the Capitol where he barely wanted to answer questions.

He claimed he had the votes, but to Jamie's reporting, and mine lines right up with this. First of all, he does an obvious control of the house, so it's hard to know if even has 218 Republicans to vote for him on the floor.

BASH: They just don't exist yet.

HUNT: Right. I mean, this is going to be -- I mean, Dana, how many of these have we covered over the years where there is a lot of drama in the lead up, and then, usually, it fizzles on the floor? I don't think it will be like this.

BASH: This is on the floor, meaning?

HUNT: That whoever is up walks into it. But this will be nuts.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it has been brewing for a long time. There were 40 Freedom Caucus members. That is more than enough, in any scenario, in which McCarthy is trying to be speaker to mock things up.

But the problem is, and that's why ties on the vine often, it's the alternative.

BASH: That's right.

PHILLIP: Let's put Jim Jordan out there. Will Jim Jordan, really, get whatever is left of the moderates in the Republican caucus?



But I would like to suggest, there is someone else out there. And this is -- we know Donald Trump does not wish to take blame for what happened in this election. He will not be the scapegoat. So, who is the convenient scapegoat? Kevin McCarthy.

There is someone that Donald Trump likes very much sitting out there. Elise Stefanik, from Upstate New York, went to Harvard, has never made Donald Trump angry. There is no daylight between them.

I am not saying it's going to happen, but I am saying, we have seen Donald Trump come in and cause trouble.

HUNT: This is where the Trump thing comes in, I mean, it really does. If Trump were to, really, publicly, break with McCarthy, all bets become off in that scenario. Don't you think?

BASH: It could be. Also, let's go back to, why is Donald Trump mad Kevin McCarthy?

GANGEL: Because, for one moment

BASH: I mean, give me a break.

PHILLIP: He's not a huge Kevin McCarthy fan.

BASH: Well, that's true, but he has bent over backwards to do what he needed to do in Trump world. But we can talk more about that later.

Coming up, new exit polls on what voters in key 2024 swing states think about President Biden in this election night in America, continues.



COOPER: And welcome back to CNN's coverage of this historic election. Arizona is in the spotlight this hour. We await critical new vote numbers that could determine whether Republicans, or Democrats, will control the Senate.

Thanks for joining us. There is a lot to talk about, ahead, here in New York. So, what are we waiting for? What's going on?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We are waiting for them to count the votes. There is a big conversation happening right now, and I agree with David from earlier, people are wondering, why do certain states not count these votes? It matters here. If the Republicans hang on in Nevada, and the Democrats hang on in Arizona, it makes Georgia meaningful if something were to happen, and the Democrats hang on in Nevada, and Arizona, makes Georgia less meaningful.

There's stuff going on in Georgia tonight, that the Republicans have announced. Mitch McConnell, and his, group now announced that they're partnering with Brian Kemp on get out the vote. The Democrats are mobilizing, so they are gearing up, but pending the outcome here, there is vote counting.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Just imagine how you will be bombarded.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Thanksgiving is going to suck.


BORGER: There are $271 million was spent on the first campaign. I bet you they will spend more on the second. AXELROD: The only good thing is they won't ruin Christmas, because it

is a month earlier than the last time they did.

COOPER: Let's check in with David, who has some exit polling on Biden. In these 2024 swing states. David?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Hey, Anderson. Yeah, I mean, you guys are talking about the Georgia runoff that may or may not be consequential in just four weeks. President Biden had a press conference this week, asked about looking ahead two years if indeed, he is poised to get into a reelection battle.

And we have a sense from voters, in key battleground states this year, about whether or not they would like to see Joe Biden run for reelection. So, in Florida, do you want Joe Biden to run for president in 2024? Only 27 percent of Florida voters, this election, said yes. 70 percent said no.

Take a look at Michigan. Do you want Joe Biden to run for president? Twenty-eight percent said yes, again, nearly seven and ten, 68 percent of Michiganders in this election said no. Pennsylvania, you're going to see a trend here. Twenty-seven percent say, yes, they want to see Joe Biden run for president again, 69 percent say no.

And in Wisconsin, you see the same results. 28 percent of voters in Wisconsin, wanting to see Biden run in 2024, 69 percent say no. Obviously, Biden won three of those four states, he not win Florida in 2020. But he would need those battleground states if you were to be successful. And clearly, there is not a call for him to get into a reelection race.


I mean, David Axelrod, I'm sure we talked about this a lot yesterday, in terms of Joe Biden getting into the race. What are your thoughts on today? Any different?

AXELROD: Well, no. These numbers are not encouraging. Although, he said yesterday, he is not looking at these numbers.


I'm not sure he should look at these numbers because I do remember being in a White House that had a bad midterm election, where the president's numbers were lagging, and he ended up winning a really substantial victory, two years later. So, presidents can come back. Bill Clinton came back.

You know, the issue remains, the issue we discussed yesterday. But I have to say, I have to cut him a little bit of slack because think about this, we are sitting here tonight, wondering about control of the Senate. The House Republicans are in disarray, the day of the election. You know, we did an interview with Kevin McCarthy who was ready to be carried in on a rickshaw. Now, he is struggling to be the leader because they did so poorly. So, you know, I think -- I can see why they, in the White House, are

feeling better today. I think -- I said what I said, and I am not -- I think the issue is not about Biden, and his politics. The issue is just one of -- sorry, go ahead.

JENNINGS: Isn't part of the -- isn't part of the -- you know, you said what you said about Biden, numbers are what they are, and at the same time, tonight, the so-called leader of the Republican Party has put out an incomprehensible screed against Florida governor, Ron DeSantis. The only Republican, in the country, by the way, who did anything on election night.

See, if there were Democrats who were, clearly, nervous about the prospect of Biden running, Republicans, Davi, Alyssa and I are hearing, are very nervous about the idea of Trump running. I think the country, one of the messages here, is not partisan.

It is just that the country is screaming for us to move on and do anything differently. It is obvious in these numbers. I don't know if the political system has the will to produce that result. But, the market demand is there.

BORGER: That's also compared to what? Do you want Biden to run? Okay, we don't want him to, run but against whom? If he is up against Donald Trump? Well, maybe, they might want to run him.

Also, what is the state of the economy at that point? Are they -- you know, as David points out, Biden was looking at a red wave, and got a trickle. So, maybe, in hindsight, people change their mind. I don't know, but --

AXELROD: I mean, I would not under or over-read this.

BORGER: Right, it's a tough question to answer right now.

JONES: I think, there's a high likelihood, in two years, that the economy will not be great, just because the Fed is going to continue to pound the heck out of this economy to try to beat inflation. Doesn't happen in a weekend, it takes a while.

If you have a soft economy, people look for change. I just -- I think every election, feels like a change election. So, in that case, I think we just need to put somebody else up.

Here is the problem. Nobody can tell you who they want that is not Biden. That is our problem.

DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's not going to be Newsom, right, it's not going to be Pritzker, or is it? Right? I mean, that's the question.

BORGER: Who knows?

AXELROD: You know, we all sat here, in our wisdom, and forecast what would happen in the selection, and I, for one, was wrong. So, to try to predict what will happen in two years? I've said it before. The way we determine who has the chops to run is through campaigns.


COOPER: Let's talk about the governors. When Democrats had good midterms, when it came to governors races, Newsom, Whitmer, handily winning. Is there presidential potential there?


ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The most significant factor, that we didn't know, that got the polling wrong, that make the whole thing have a red wave around people turning out. They came out for Democrats, but in spite of Biden. All exit polling was showing that Biden want them to come out.

Young people are screaming for difference. This is a moment both Democrats, and Republicans should heed. I'm sorry, we don't want two octogenarians. It's not ageist. It's wanting a different generational leader.

AXELROD: Yeah. You know, the governor is one thing we should note, while we are on the governor. Democrats won in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, retaining those governors officers.

That, actually, has implications for the presidential race. It is important to have the governor in those states. A couple of them are prospects for the future. Maybe even in the next election, in Michigan. But, holding those officers was a big thing for the Democratic Party.

COOPER: Arizona election officials, set to release new vote count numbers just minutes from now. Our election coverage continues in a moment.



COOPER: The blame game is on tonight, as Republican tried to figure out why their anticipated congressional sweep failed to materialize. New vote numbers, coming soon from Arizona could push closer to a narrow victory. But some are blaming the Trump factor for the disappointing results.

More on what comes next, I want to bring in CNN national correspondent, Kristen Holmes.

Kristen, there's some new information from your source about the former president's plans to announce another run for the White House?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Anderson. The invitations for that event, Tuesday, anticipated to go out as soon as tonight. This, despite the fact, that so many of Trump's advisers, and allies, ask him to not announce until after the Georgia runoff. They're telling him, he will be blamed if Walker loses, that him announcing will pour money into the race for Warnock as, well as energized Democratic voters.

Now, as for where Trump's mind is, yes, he is still planning to announce on Tuesday, but is very focused on one person. And that person is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

There is no questioning the fact that DeSantis has had an enormous amount of momentum after his win. We have seen multiple Republicans, including conservative media, essentially, tout DeSantis as the new leader of the party, and throw Trump to the side. And this is not gone unnoticed.

Now, Trump had promised donors and allies he would stay away from DeSantis before the midterms, after a swipe at him, that had people enraged, but he is not anymore. He released a statement, took credit for DeSantis' win in 2018. He said that DeSantis is disloyal, because he is talking about wanting to run, that he never said he wouldn't run if Trump did. So, he is already out there.


COOPER: Well, I got to say, I mean, a statement implies that it is a well-thought out, you know, actual sentences that are coherent, with a subject, a verb, and some nouns. I mean, this is a rambling screed. It's quite something.

HOLMES: You can see where his energy is. This is what he is focusing on. I will say, no one right now is at Mar-a-Lago. The entire club is evacuated. He is there, alone, until Friday. He has lots of time to focus on this.

COOPER: Fascinating. Kristen, thank you so much.

I want to talk about it here. Alyssa, I know you're waiting for your invitation. But, I mean, it is fascinating. I had not read the screen until recently. I had to read the first couple of sentences, because they do not, actually, make sense.

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It is nonsensical. There is a better version, if you want to say that, on Truth Social that goes further. This is the professionalize diversion.

COOPER: Premium content.

GRIFFIN: Yeah. He is looking for everyone to blame. DeSantis is the focal point, he wants to take credit for DeSantis' tremendous success.

But those around Trump, also going after Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, Ronna McDaniel. Kevin McCarthy has got the worst tightrope to walk for the next two months. He doesn't need to stay in his good graces. No one else needs to.

Mitch McConnell doesn't need anything from Donald Trump. Every Republican governor doesn't need a thing. So, I'm curious, what real VIPs from the Republican Party show up at this event?

COOPER: It has the, quote/unquote, advantage of sunshine. GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: This is referring to

COVID, right?

COOPER: Yes, the advantage of sunshine.

BORGER: So the thing about the announcement is, everybody try to talk him out of doing this on Tuesday. I spoke with a source, who is close to him, who said, actually, we tried to talk him out of doing it on Tuesday. We want him to do it in January. We really want him to wait.

Do not do it during the holiday season, people are sick of politics. You're going to have the stage to yourself in January. People will pay attention.

And the source I spoke to said, look, nobody knows. The invitations are going out tonight. Did you just get yours?

DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, I was going to read something. This is from my West Point classmate, and future candidate as well, Mike Pompeo.

Conservatives are elected when we deliver, not when we rail on social media.

BORGER: That is a different tone from, Mike Pompeo, I might add.

URBAN: I think people are jumping into the deep end of the pool on this. We will see what the vice president --

COOPER: I mean, really, we've been talking for several days about whether this is a real break, or is this a, I can't quit you in the end break?

URBAN: I think this is the floodgates are open, and people are saying, you saw Winston Sears on social media saying, I can't support Trump. I'm a conservative African American, future of the Republican Party right in Virginia.

COOPER: Lindsey Graham said that the night of the insurrection and, that was in the airport the next day, with people screaming at him, and he seemed to go to Mar-a-Lago.

GRIFFIN: The Trump announcement, I predict, is going to fall flat. It won't be what he wants it to be. What I am watching, is January. The New Year, when the dust settles, people break for the holidays, Congress back in session. That is what people tend to gravitate towards Mar-a-Lago. They need something from him. They hear from their base when they are back home.

URBAN: But this is my point about going to Tallahassee, versus Mar-a- Lago, right? Who's going to want to go? What do you need from him, as opposed to Ron DeSantis?

AXELROD: I think the point about not wanting more politics now, the only people who will be excited by this are the people who travel from place to place, like a grateful dead thing, going to all of his rallies. I think America is tired of this. They are tired of him, frankly, right now.

It is interesting, he did better, and the Republican Party did better, during the months when he was quiet. The Republican Party started to have problems when he resurfaced in a big way.

You know, I mean, you feel like there is a big implosion coming, but the question is, at the end of the day, I want to see how the base reacts to this? Rank and file people who follow Trump?

COOPER: I'm imagining the Trump base, and the Grateful Dead base, all rolled together. It's a cross over.

AXELROD: All tied.

We are days away from doing the new joked totals, from hundreds of thousands of ballots, are still unaccounted. Election night in America continues.



BLITZER: There's a major push, underway, right now to count ballots in Arizona. We get live pictures from FEMA County, Arizona. Thousands of new votes, just reported, and are expecting more results coming up, this hour.

Arizona, neighboring Nevada, could be the deciders, as the nation waits to learn which party will win the keys to the U.S. Senate. Control of the House of Representatives, also, hanging in the balance right now, as election night in America continues.

I'm Wolf Blitzer in the CNN Election Center, standing by to see if the needle moves, tonight, in the critical, undecided Senate races, in both Arizona, and Nevada. Two Democratic incumbents, fighting so hard, to hold on against strong challenges from Republicans.

Those races, crucial, and determining the final balance of power in the Senate.